The Sandoval Signpost (Web edition) is pleased
as punch (diet punch that is) to bring you the humor
and insightful human observations of Daniel Will Harris,
author of My
Wife and Times. —Ed].
By Daniel Will Harris
You would never know by looking at me what
an exciting life I lead. Last week I had another close call—Yet
this dangerous experience seemed oddly normal. At no time
was I ever floating above my body, looking down. I saw no
white light, well, except maybe for a headlight.
I was driving home and I realized my car wasn't centered
on the road. I tried to get back between the lines, but the
steering felt loose. Then, in a dream-like way that was all
too real, I found that I could turn the steering wheel all
I wanted, but it wasn't steering the car. In fact, the wheel
spun freely like the red plastic one I had on my crib as a
Luckily I wasn't going too fast. The road sloped to the right
towards a ditch, so that's where I went. Better there than
if I'd been driving on the freeway, or on a road that tilted
into oncoming traffic.
And that was that. Not exciting, just potentially deadly.
Maybe I keep having these near-death experiences because I'm
a slow learner. My friend Molli suggested that I have them
just to prove to myself that someone is watching over me.
I like Molli's take better than mine. Either way, I'm once
I was fine for two days. Then I got scared. Since then, time
has been all out of whack. One example: I realized it was
almost the end of the year. I don't know about you, but to
me it feels like April.
The past week, with all this election stuff has seemed endless
(don't worry, I'm not going to talk about politics). What
I expected to happen overnight has taken a week, and life
feels like one of those soap operas where it takes two weeks
of shows to get through a single day of story.
When I was a kid, I remember adults saying, "time goes
faster as you get older," but I couldn't imagine how
that worked. Now here I am, an adult, and I can.
I have a theory about this: When you're young, you haven't
lived many days. So each day is a larger percentage of your
life. When you get older, you've lived many days, so each
day is a smaller percentage of your life.
Do the math: Say you're ten years old. You remember being
ten, don't you? If not, stop right now, take a nap or have
a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and remember. It wasn't
that long ago, especially in geologic time.
When you were ten, each day was 1/3,650th of your life. At
30 (if you're not 30 yet, just play along, because if you're
lucky, you'll be 30, and it will happen before you know it),
the days feel only 30% as long as they were at ten. By 40,
you've lived 14,600 days, so now each day seems 25% shorter
than when you were 30--and it takes about four 40-year-old
days to feel like ten-year-old day.
And yet—time is relative. If you've ever been in an
accident, then you can remember how time moves in ultra-slow-motion.
Maybe if I paid more attention, I could feel time like I did
when I was 10.
Before you get depressed, there is an up-side to all this.
The older you are, the more experiences you have, so the more
you can relate to. So at 40, you should be able to understand
and appreciate things 400% more than you did when you were
ten. At least, that's my theory.
I spend a lot of time on the web. (Just think about the term
"spending time.") I enjoy it, and it's become a
vital part of my life, and livelihood. As you have surely
learned first hand, time flies when you're online. And the
longer you're online, the harder it gets to wait for slow
pages, for sites that aren't clear about what they do, or
for badly designed sites where you can't find what you want.
So be kind to your site visitor and try to take as little
of their time as possible. I now officially apologize for
this intro being long and taking up so much time.
I don't know about you, but the universe keeps telling me
to stop and be thankful for the time I've had, and be hopeful
about the time to come.